Sleep apnea is a serious problem linked to several health issues, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Therefore, treating it is important for your overall health. But what are the treatments for sleep apnea? Let’s explore further to look at what treatment options are available for this serious problem.
If you have a mild or less severe case of sleep apnea, your dentist or doctor may simply recommend a few lifestyle changes that can help. These might include losing weight, treating nasal allergies, or quitting smoking.
These changes can sometimes take care of the problem, but if they don’t, you may need to consider other treatment options.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, is caused by the relaxation of tissues located at the back of the throat that then block the airway. When your airway gets blocked, your blood oxygen levels drop, stimulating your brain to rouse you from sleep.
If you’re suffering from OSA, oral appliance therapy is one treatment option your dentist may recommend. Oral appliances can alter the alignment of your jaw and/or hold your tongue in place to alleviate the blockage. These devices can be very effective and are much less complicated than a CPAP machine.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
If oral appliance therapy doesn’t do the trick, your dentist may recommend a CPAP machine. This device delivers gently pressurized air through a mask you wear when you sleep.
CPAP machine treatment is the most common and reliable remedy for OSA. While some patients dread the idea of wearing a mask at night, modern CPAP machines are much more comfortable and far less cumbersome than the machines you might remember others using.
Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV)
This is a more recently approved airflow device that actually learns your normal breathing pattern. Once it has that information stored in the built-in computer, it uses pressure to normalize your breathing pattern as you sleep.
It is more successful than other methods for treating complex sleep apnea, which involves a combination of central sleep apnea (the type that involves a problem with your brain’s signals) and OSA.
Call Us to Answer All of Your Sleep Apnea Questions!
At Wheaton Dental Sleep Center, we specialize in treating sleep apnea. Give our dental office of professionals a call today if you suffer from OSA or suspect you have sleep apnea. We’re passionate about diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, so you stay healthy and well-rested!